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Posts Tagged ‘fire department’

Originally published in the Valley Daily News, September 4, 1987

By Debra Nelson

Les Van Hoof is one of the new breed of coal miners who operate the levers of heavy equipment rather than picks and shovels. (Staff photo by Gary Kissel.)

Les Van Hoof is one of the new breed of coal miners who operate the levers of heavy equipment rather than picks and shovels. (Staff photo by Gary Kissel.)

Coal mining… the words evoke images of dark mine shafts, dynamite, and hardy men, exhausted from the hazards of blasting the mineral from deep within the earth, ravaged by black lung disease.

The old folk song “Sixteen Tons” tells that story—of men who rarely saw the sun and whose blood and sweat made coal the major industry in the Black Diamond region until the 1920s.

But those were the “good old days” of coal mining and, fortunately, the industry has undergone radical changes. For one thing, today’s miners work above ground, in the hot summer sun and the cold winter rain.

This Labor Day weekend, Black Diamond looks back at the old days, remembering those pioneers and miners who settled the town. The festivities include the kind of fun and games many pioneer kids enjoyed. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 6, 1975

“A family outing close to home” is how Pacific Northwest Bell’s local community relations team describes a Telephone Open House planned for Maple Valley this coming Saturday, August 9.

It will be held at the Maple Valley Central Office, across from the Post Office, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is organized by volunteer members of the Maple Valley-Renton Community Relations Team, who are telephone employees living or working in the area.

Visitors will be able to observe the central office equipment in action. Team members will be on hand to answer questions concerning all displays.

C.R. team chairman Gary Habenicht acknowledges that few people are aware of the existence of a local telephone central office, and that one of the objectives of his team is to improve community relations and develop awareness. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 1997

By Barbara Nilson

Labor Day Chairperson Lorianne Taff hurls balls at her target, Black Diamond policeman Kevin Esping, in the dunk tank. — By Barbara Nilson.

Labor Day Chairperson Lorianne Taff hurls balls at her target, Black Diamond policeman Kevin Esping, in the dunk tank. — By Barbara Nilson.

Plaques for the winners, ribbon cutting to officially open the new school playground, and community fun topped Black Diamond’s Labor Day celebration, under the direction of Lorianne Taff.

The three-day event honored Black Diamond Fire Chief Rick Mercer as Person of the Year for the numerous hours he devotes to his community including the Labor Day Festival. He was games chairman. Also recognized was Christina McCorkendale who was crowned Queen of the button sales. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, June 1995

Vivian Mathison talked about her school days at the April 17th Hobart get-together sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society.

Vivian Mathison talked about her school days at the April 17th Hobart get-together sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society.

My name is Vivian Mathison. I was Vivian Kelley when I lived in Hobart from 1930 to 1939. My family moved to Hobart from Kerriston on March 17, 1930.

Our family consisted of our parents, Will and Maude Kelley, Lois, Vera, Grace, and me. Also Mike, our black and white Spitz dog given to us by the Higgins family when they moved away.

I was 10 years old when we moved to Hobart and I entered Miss Bock’s 4th grade. My special friend right away was Vivian Peterson. We were the two Vivs, and remained best friends all through school, attending Tahoma and graduating in 1938.

From my point of remembrance our family’s special friends were the W.D. Thompsons, the Lonnie Triggs, Norma Purdy, Vivian Peterson, Dave Conard, and Gerald Bartholomew. My sister Lois and Gerald, and Dave and I enjoyed going to the dances at Lake Wilderness. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 23 and 30, 1975

By Laura Lorenz

Modern-day fireman George Raffle, shown above with the moving stock of the Maple Valley Fire Department (King County District 43), is understandably proud of today’s fire station and its equipment. It all started back in 1950 when three citizens went together to sign a $500 note. (Voice photo by Kevin McLellan)

Modern-day fireman George Raffle, shown above with the moving stock of the Maple Valley Fire Department (King County District 43), is understandably proud of today’s fire station and its equipment. It all started back in 1950 when three citizens went together to sign a $500 note. (Voice photo by Kevin McLellan)

The Maple Valley Fire Department grew from a dream to actuality in the spring of 1950 when a $500 note was signed by Joe Mezzavilla, Bill Mitchell, and Frank Sayers to obtain a 1926 Howard Cooper fire engine truck from the city of Blaine, Washington. The remaining one-half of the truck’s cost was gathered by numerous citizens’ donations. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 30, 1977

By George and Dianne Wilson

The 1947 Ford fire truck in front of the fire station on Baker Street, now Fire Station #99, in 1969. (Photo courtesy of Keith Timm, Sr.)

The 1947 Ford fire truck in front of the fire station on Baker Street, now Fire Station #99, in 1969. (Photo courtesy of Keith Timm, Sr.)

Black Diamond has an all-volunteer fire department. Unfortunately many of us do not fully appreciate what this means or represents in terms of effort. All-volunteer means exactly that. No one is paid, not even the chief. In a fascinating telephone interview with Fire Chief Chuck Capone, we learned this fact and more about the Black Diamond Fire Department.

The city council appoints the chief and assistant fire chief, Capone and Jules Dal Santo, who are aided in turn by Chief Deputy John Bukaskey. The basic equipment and uniforms are provided through the city budget plus some extras which are not essential but are desirable. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, December 29, 1971

By William A. Ziegner

Joe’s old Maple Valley General Store being moved (top) to make way for Serve-U’s expansion in 1959. And below, of course, the area as it looks today.

Joe’s old Maple Valley General Store being moved (top) to make way for Serve-U’s expansion in 1959. And below, of course, the area as it looks today.

Once in a while, the Voice gets around to what is called a personality sketch. It’s high time we came up with another one and past high time that we bang out a few words about the now 75-year-old civic leader, who has often been called (and still is) “the Mayor of Maple Valley.”

He’s Joe Mezzavilla, of course, who still makes his own wine, still keeps on the go every day, all day, and still has the same friendly smile and charm he had with this writer first met him in about 1952.

Joe at that time was proprietor of the old Sure-Fine Cash Store, occupying a frame building next to where the present Serve-U is located, at first about half today’s size. Joe waited on his customers himself most of the time. (more…)

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